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Baseball, Sorrow, & Water Balloons

A little league story…

Ten to nine score against the Pirates.

Two batters out and one left to go.

Bases Loaded.

Here comes the pitch….

And… Strike Out!

Next comes the shock… the sorrow… the tears… the loss…

My husband helps coach my sons little league team with two other incredible men who held these ten year old boys disappointment with utter compassion and love. They all agree that learning to lose and experience disappointment is one of the most important lessons they will gain playing the game. They let them have their emotions, sat with them as they cried, offered them a gentle pat on the back. They allowed their sadness to move through them without chasing it away.

This team worked hard all season and had their sites set on going far in the championship tournament… they could only lose one more game, and this loss took the wind out of them all.

A few days later the team was scheduled for practice before their next big championship game. Their coaches had something special for them planned. When the boys showed up at practice, instead of playing baseball they were having a water balloon toss and the opportunity to pelt their coaches with water-balloons just a little while later. They ran around, giggled, and just enjoyed the sunshine and outdoors. These incredibly wise coaches saw the need for play, community & connection as more important then skill building for the next game. What they taught these boys that day was that life was bigger than this next baseball game. They could choose to lighten up, laugh, and enjoy the journey, not taking too seriously was was to come next.

I’m admittedly just a tad bit biased regarding how special it was to see these emotionally intelligent men attend to these young boys. But I will say that my husband and his co-coaches brought just a little more hope into my world that our boys will grow into the kind of men this world needs. Wise. Tender. Brave. Purposeful.